Need: More rural doctors were needed in Pennsylvania, where nearly half of the state's physicians practice in just three large metropolitan counties.
Intervention: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University established the Physician Shortage Area Program (PSAP) in 1974 to recruit and support students who are from rural backgrounds and who wish to practice in rural communities.
Results: Approximately 80% of PSAP alumni have remained in rural family medicine for at least 20 to 25 years after graduation.
Need: General surgeons are needed in rural communities.
Intervention: Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is sending residents to complete a general surgery rotation in rural southern Oregon.
Results: 39% of the graduates of the rural residency program are now practicing in a rural setting. The residents remain more likely than other OHSU residents to enter general surgery practice and to serve in a community of fewer than 50,000 people.
Need: To fill vacant medical positions in Maine's rural medical facilities.
Intervention: The Tufts Maine Track LIC program offers clerkships in rural medical facilities, exposing medical school students to the positives and possibilities that rural practices have to offer.
Results: The program has seen an increase in students' interest in practicing in rural Maine. The majority of participants have pursued medical careers in one of the six core specialties studied during their clerkship.
Need: People in rural New Mexico often found it difficult to find and utilize needed resources from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).
Intervention: UNMHSC created Health Extension Regional Offices (HEROs), in which HERO agents live in the communities they serve, help identify health and social needs, and link them with UNMHSC and other university resources.
Results: In their regions, HERO agents' activities have been diverse, including recruiting physicians, mobilizing research funds to address local priorities, working on economic development, training laypeople in Mental Health First Aid, and helping local institutions access UNMHSC resources.